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April 17, 2020: ALL NEW ITEMS!

Download the previous list of items here.

During this time of sheltering at home, many of us are taking advantage of the many parks and preserves in the area to get out of the house and to get some exercise (while social distancing, of course!). So let's do a nature scavenger hunt! It will make your walks a little more fun, and hopefully will ignite your senses and make you more aware of all the wonderful things nature has to offer, especially as spring begins to work its magic. And, it's a great activity to do with kids home from school. 


So get outside, and look for the nine items listed below. When you find one, snap a picture and post it on Instagram using the tag #outdoordetective. If you want, tag where you are, and #chikamingopenlands too. You can also post your photos on Facebook, but please be sure to tag us (@chikamingopenlands) in your post or we won't see it. Or you can send them to us on our Facebook page via Messenger. 


Take your hunt wherever you'd like! It doesn't have to be one of our nature preserves... visit a township park, county park, State park, another land conservancy's preserve, or even your own backyard! We'll put out new lists as new things start popping up in the weeks ahead. Anyone who gets all of these by April 24 will be entered in a drawing to win a COL t-shirt! Questions? email us at col@chikamingopenlands.org.

Ready, set, HUNT (and don't forget the #outdoordetective tag)!


LEAF BUD

Trees and shrubs are starting to bud... can you find one?

TROUT LILY

These little yellow nodding flowers are just starting to bloom. You can find them in woodland habitats. Their leaves feature a distinctive maroonish-brown mottled pattern.

PILEATED WOODPECKER

You'll mostly see these large woodpeckers up in the trees. With the trees not yet leafed out, you'll have an easier time spotting them. Look for their bright red crests! You might hear one before you see it... here's what they sound like.

RAMPS

Typically one of the very first hints of green that emerge on the forest floor in the spring, these wild leeks grow in clusters. Their leaves resemble lily of the valley, with reddish stems. NOTE: Please do not remove ramps from any designated nature preserve or park.

AMERICAN BEECH TREE

Although there aren't leaves on the trees just yet, you can easily identify a beech tree by its distinctive smooth, light gray bark. They can be found in many of the local hardwood forests.

BLACK SQUIRREL

These squirrels' dark color is actually a rare mutation of the more common gray or red fox squirrels, but you will find lots of them here in Michigan.  

BLOODROOT

These spring wildflowers have white flowers with yellow stamens while in bloom. Their leaves look a little like large parsley or cilantro leaves. When cut, the roots ooze a reddish orange juice, hence their name. They are found in woodland habitats and near streams.

A BEND-Y TREE

Yes, this is the scientific term. Trees will grow all kinds of crazy ways to ensure they can get sunlight to make the food they need to survive. See if you can find one!

SKUNK CABBAGE

These spring plants can be found in marshes, wetlands, and near streams. Their leaves unfurl in a spiral pattern, much like a cabbage. If you want to know how it got its name, stick your nose in one and take a whiff! 

  Have fun and happy hunting! Don't forget to tag your photos with #outdoordetective!